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Old 22.11.2020, 23:45
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

B. Get the other people to change.

You can, in fact, never make anyone else change.
You can only appeal to them to do so.

If, then, they choose not to do what you ask, then that's their choice, and you cannot change them, ever.

If you call the police, they might change, or they might revert to their same behaviour once the police have gone away.

It seems to me that you feel rather too dependent upon their behaviour, and I'd like to encourage you to focus more on what you yourself can do, to feel better, for as long as you are living next to those neighbours.

Last edited by doropfiz; 23.11.2020 at 00:01.
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Old 22.11.2020, 23:49
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

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You lost a bit of my sympathy there. I've lived here for 12 years or so and have never heard of anyone in a situation like yours so it's absolutely not representative. The big majority of people here live in conditions that are a million miles from most urban environments in third world countries. You do have a problem and there is a solution but you seem adamant that you're not going to move so it's hard to know how else to help you.

You only have to find another tenant if you leave before the end of your contracted term, so why not simply give in your notice to your landlord and move out when the period is up? Your concern for the next tenant is admirable but not very sensible. You don't say how long more you have in Switzerland but it would be a great shame if you were to return home with the idea that this nation is some sort of nightmare. I'm always suspicious of these quality-of-life surveys but there is a reason why Zurich usually comes in the top 3 cities worldwide. Good luck.
You do realize that if could easily move to a new place he would've not came here to ask: 'What to do', don't you?
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Old 22.11.2020, 23:57
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

C. Change your own behaviour, to make it more bearable to live there.

Here, I've tried to gather together the various suggestions made by others, and add a few more.
  1. See whether you can move your furniture such that your wardrobe is near the wall towards the neighbours and your bed and desk further away. Do this shift even it if makes your room look odd. Go for sound-barrier functionality.

  2. Try to insulate the places through which the sound from outside reaches your flat. Spend some time checking the doors and windows. Anywhere that the light shows through, so, too, can the sound get though (or around). Also have a good look at the doorways to your bathroom, and to your kitchen, if any.

  3. Put a cushion along your door, either underneath or just inside the door.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=home...qlPP0JATbkma2M

  4. Buy protective, insulating materials, or collect some for free from clean rubbish: cardboard, styrofoam, polystyrene, bubblewrap, and construct your own shields to put up between you and the neighbours. Besides the doors and windows, you could rest some panels along the walls.

    Here's a video showing you how to build light-weight panels from free or nearly free materials. https://youtu.be/kYwTsn_U7Ig (skip forward to 6:20), and here's another https://youtu.be/hnjoPNquvJk (skip forward to 1:30), and of course these can be make of cardboard and cheap fabric, to make them more handy and prettier.

    You should shift them away during some hours of each day, so no moisture builds up behind them.

  5. Put a torch inside the kitchen cupboards. Switch off the kitchen lights. If you can see the light around the cupboard doors, then work out a way to fill in those gaps with one or other material.

  6. Listen and feel around all the places where the water piping goes into the walls. See whether you can block any gaps around the water piping.

  7. If your flat has a bathtub, keep a heavy blanket in it when you are not using it, especially covering the plug-hole and the water-outlet. Do the same in your kitchen sink. If you have a shower, hang up such a blanket, or at least hang up your winter coat in the shower, to dampen some of the echoes a bit.

  8. Buy a white noise machine or use online white noise.

  9. Go to Fielman or another store to ask the costs of custom-made earplugs.

  10. Buy a headset, with the large type of earshells to encapsulate your whole ear. These can be for listening to music, or the kind that builders wear to keep out sounds. https://www.wish.com/product/5f17b13..._BwE&share=web

  11. If you can work out a way to hang them, buy heavier, thicker curtains. They don't have to be expensive, and could be any random non-flat textiles from a Brockenhaus (second-hand shop).

  12. See whether you can change your schedule to avoid the worst of what your neighbours do, that bothers you. Choose the times when your neighbours make the most noise to do things that are noisy, too, such as having your shower then, or vaccuum-cleaning the flat, or cooking, or listening to your own music or watching a movie. Put on some music and dance or do your exercises. Or do things, then, which get you out of your flat, like do your laundry, or go out for a 20 minute walk, or to do your shopping. Or go to read in a library.

  13. Keep a mental list of activities, in reserve, as it were, so you can grab one when the neighbours' noise starts to bother you.

  14. Move your mental position away from "they are in the wrong and they should change" to "I'm going to take control and do as much as I can to make my living circumstances happier".


Of course, none of these ideas is perfect, not by a long way. They are not high science of accoustics or of deep psychology, but they do add up.

Your neighbours will still be noisy. But if you apply a combination of these measures, the sum of them is very likely to bring at least some relief.

I wish you well.
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Old 23.11.2020, 00:01
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

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Hi everyone,

I am a non-EU student studying and working in Zurich. I found a really nice studio in the city with a really good price (Genossenschaft) two years ago. Upon finding this place, i thought i were lucky, but my happiness didn't last as i realized the wall is really thin and i share two walls with my neighbors' kitchen and bathroom. The neighbors are not a family, but a combination of an old lady, a young guy and a lady who is mentally sick. Two of them are getting financial support from the government and only one works. This means they are at home all day, and guess what? They use the kitchen as a living room always sitting there talking, cooking, watching TV although they have 4 bedrooms and they can use one as a living room. At the beginning, I asked them politely not to make noise from 22.00 to 7.00 and the lady who looked so friendly and nice told me that she was sorry and she didn't know that I can hear them. This didn't stop here as after one week, they started doing the same thing. I started using earplugs the whole day and night cause i cannot ask someone 20 times to stay silent during the night. My patience lasted 2 complete years, but i cannot take it anymore. I started having hearing problems because of using earplugs and earphones for years. Today, I gathered my courage and asked the old lady once again to not make noise from 22.00 to 7.00 and she aggressively told me that they work at night and they are living, so there is nothing they can do. Worse than that, there will be another roommate coming to live with them from December who wakes up at 5.00 to go to work. Every year, one of the roommates leave the place and someone new will come (the first roommate was a girl addicted to drugs and i was so scared of her). I don't understand why the agency would rent such a nice and cheap place to someone like her instead of a family with children. I need to sleep at night in order to be able to study and work during the day, but they wake me up at least 5 times during the night. Do you have any suggestions? Now that she showed her true colors, i don't want to tolerate the situation anymore.
Well, drug addicts have to live somewhere. It's worse for everyone if they're on the streets.

Some years ago the building in front was some kind of social housing where all the tenants had some kind of trouble, from drugs to mental health issues. The police stopped by there once a week. Is this the case of the building where you live? Is the police there regularly?

Not every student is wealthy enough to live alone. Most students share an apartment with someone else to minimize rental costs. Consider this for a moment.
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Old 23.11.2020, 07:27
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

Start from measuring the sound spectrum of noises to decide, if you can deal with them. Household noises are usually easily reduced with a reasonably low effort by simply covering a wall with a thick woven fabric or a carper.


I have a neighbor, waking up everyday at 5:30 with a pretty loud rooster alarm clock. The guy says, that he is using this alarm clock for 20 years already and will continue to use it for longer, than I will stay in Switzerland - an absolute sweetie.

It was bothering my wife quite a lot. The landlord (a company) did nothing helpful and recommended us to call a police each time we are disturbed (?!), so I "temporary" soundproofed the wall between our apartments (3mm mass-loaded vinyl for liner + 25mm acoustic foam on top) - it actually helps a lot. Yes, I'll have to remove all that stuff when moving out and redo/repaint the wall, but that is a much lower overall cost, then a change of address. Also, love other neighbors and the location.


In regards of the headphones: an overhead model with a strong noise isolation and, preferably, ANC would be much better, then plugs. If you are looking for an inexpensive model, then try something like MPow H series (H5, H12 - these I tried, work very well for the price). If you can find a couple hundreds for that purpose, then go with Sony WM-1000 series, Sony WM-H900 series or any Bose QC series. That might be money well spent.
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Old 23.11.2020, 11:28
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B. Get the other people to change.

You can, in fact, never make anyone else change.
You can only appeal to them to do so.

If, then, they choose not to do what you ask, then that's their choice, and you cannot change them, ever.

If you call the police, they might change, or they might revert to their same behaviour once the police have gone away.

It seems to me that you feel rather too dependent upon their behaviour, and I'd like to encourage you to focus more on what you yourself can do, to feel better, for as long as you are living next to those neighbours.
Thank you very much for spending time writing the posts. I asked them before and for one week, it got better and then again the same issue. I don't want to call the police and i also agree that i cannot change them. I learned from this forum to always solve the issue with the neighbor instead of calling the police or complaining to the agency, but in this case, the neighbor thinks she has the right to do whatever she wants. I thought maybe asking another neighbor to talk to her will help. I am really worried about the beginning of December cause another guy will come to live with them and she told me that he will wake up at 5 am to go to work.

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Well, drug addicts have to live somewhere. It's worse for everyone if they're on the streets.

Some years ago the building in front was some kind of social housing where all the tenants had some kind of trouble, from drugs to mental health issues. The police stopped by there once a week. Is this the case of the building where you live? Is the police there regularly?

Not every student is wealthy enough to live alone. Most students share an apartment with someone else to minimize rental costs. Consider this for a moment.
There are some people with mental health issues like the neighbor's roommate, but she left. She was really silent always reading books and asking how I was upon seeing me. The main problem is the main tenant, but that is also understandable cause i know old people sleep less and they usually talk loud. I think she is not aware of how much noise she makes when she is in the kitchen. I sometimes wonder what she is doing there as it's too loud.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 23.11.2020 at 18:43. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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  #47  
Old 23.11.2020, 11:40
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

I would not move out of an inexpensive Genossenschaft apt. in Zürich.

I would recomend a strategy of:
  1. Finding out what your rights are from the Mietverband . I think that if you document and complain, you can at least reach a reduction of rent (link in German) for being bothered by unnessesary noise.
  2. Your goal, however, should not be to have reduced rent. Your goal should be to be enough of a thorn in their show, that the easiest thing for them is to give you another apartment.

Genossenschafts have hundreds, if not thousands of apartments. With the cost of living in Zürich, you do not want to give up a living situation with low rent.
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Old 23.11.2020, 11:58
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

I cannot quote the advice from jazh but it's great. Yes, they have dozens of apartments, negotiate a better one. But it's a delicate balance act to be a problem large enough to not be ignored, but don't become too much of a problem to be ignored.
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Old 23.11.2020, 12:07
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

I'm sorry mate, but you pay for what you get - it is that way in every part of the world. You can try with the landlord, but the simple fact is, it would be easier for them to replace you than fix the situation.

White noise machines (like a filter or fan) really help.
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Old 23.11.2020, 17:56
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

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You can try with the landlord, but the simple fact is, it would be easier for them to replace you than fix the situation.
I don't think this is the case. If you do, please back it up with some facts...

It is not easy for a landlord to get rid of a tenent in switzerland. Renters some, but not perfect protection.

Naturally, they might not help you deal with your neighbors, But even if you don't pay your rent, it can be months before they can kick you out. If you do pay your rent, it is extremely hard for them to remove you. You can be removed if renovations are planned or if a family member of the lanlord plans to move in. Both of these thngs might be done to you if you rent from a private person, but neither are likely if you are renting from a Genossenschaft.
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Old 23.11.2020, 19:05
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

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I don't think this is the case. If you do, please back it up with some facts...
Supply and demand is the fact - any apartment in Zurich city is in demand, especially a dirt cheap one.

I'm not saying the landlord plans on removing OP, he just probably plans on not escalating it to the fullest extent, because like you said ... it would be nearly impossible to kick the offending tenant out. It would be easier for the landlord to allow the OP to move out and find a replacement.

OP, I recommend you look outside the city center for a nice quiet affordable place to live. In the city at what you pay now, you will likely expose yourself to living next to less appealing neighbors.
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Old 23.11.2020, 23:20
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

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It would be easier for the landlord to allow the OP to move out and find a replacement.
Yes, obviously it easier for the landlord if the tenent simply moves, but I think you aren't taking into account that the is situation of being in a Genossenschaft is quite different than having a private for profit company or an indiviual investor as a landlord.

The Genossenschafts not only have a social mission, they also have full time managers and mission statements that they are trying to provide attractive living arrangements for diverse renters.

Now, the managers may not want to do something and may try to solve the problem by not doing anything, but it is also possible that they will try to help the tennents, either by acting as an intermediary between the neighbors or even, by finding the OP a different apartment.

Obviously, I don't know what they'll do, but it is much more worth trying to get help with a Genossenschaft than it is with a private for profit landlord.

Additionally, getting an appartment in a Genossenschaft is incredibly tough and if you leave, it is super unlikely that you'll find another Genossenschaft apt. The rents can also be super cheap... it isn't unusual that you'll pay something like 1200 CHF for a four room apt. in Zürich, where a four room apt. on the open market can easily run between 3000 and 5000. It really really makes sense to not just move out.
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Old 24.11.2020, 05:17
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

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You do realize that if could easily move to a new place he would've not came here to ask: 'What to do', don't you?
No one is saying that moving is easy. But we often dismiss difficult solutions because we think that if we keep asking around and thinking about it, we'll come up with a less painful option. Sometimes that happens. Often it doesn't.

It's never easy or enjoyable to move. But the question has to be: is it easier/more enjoyable to put up with incessant noise from the neighbours? If it is, he stays. If it isn't, he moves. @doropfiz and others have offered some very helpful advice to the OP on how to make the move more manageable.
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Old 24.11.2020, 09:55
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

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Yes, obviously it easier for the landlord if the tenent simply moves, but I think you aren't taking into account that the is situation of being in a Genossenschaft is quite different than having a private for profit company or an indiviual investor as a landlord.

The Genossenschafts not only have a social mission, they also have full time managers and mission statements that they are trying to provide attractive living arrangements for diverse renters.
I was not aware of this, thank-you for informing me.

Hopefully OP can find a nice solution, especially with your advice.
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Old 24.11.2020, 18:53
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

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Yes, obviously it easier for the landlord if the tenent simply moves, but I think you aren't taking into account that the is situation of being in a Genossenschaft is quite different than having a private for profit company or an indiviual investor as a landlord.

The Genossenschafts not only have a social mission, they also have full time managers and mission statements that they are trying to provide attractive living arrangements for diverse renters.

Now, the managers may not want to do something and may try to solve the problem by not doing anything, but it is also possible that they will try to help the tennents, either by acting as an intermediary between the neighbors or even, by finding the OP a different apartment.

Obviously, I don't know what they'll do, but it is much more worth trying to get help with a Genossenschaft than it is with a private for profit landlord.

Additionally, getting an appartment in a Genossenschaft is incredibly tough and if you leave, it is super unlikely that you'll find another Genossenschaft apt. The rents can also be super cheap... it isn't unusual that you'll pay something like 1200 CHF for a four room apt. in Zürich, where a four room apt. on the open market can easily run between 3000 and 5000. It really really makes sense to not just move out.
The problem is I didn't rent directly from the Genossenschaft and I wasn't aware of the fact that i am living in a Genossenschaft for the first year. I rented from an organization and they are the main tenant. Probably that's why they just ignore me. I really like the apartment. It's big enough for a studio, it's close to the train station (3 mins walking only), and it's renovated. That's why i am hesitant to move cause i have been looking for another studio for 1 year now and i couldn't find anything better than this. Thank you very much for all the useful posts and your time for writing them. I very much appreciate it!
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Old 24.11.2020, 23:12
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

Can someone help me write a letter in German to the agency? I think i have to stand up for my own rights instead of just tolerating the situation. At least i try to do what i can do irregardless of whether the issue will be resolved or not.
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Old 24.11.2020, 23:42
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

OP...as a perspective, we live in a renovated flat just above Stadelhofen (in the so called "English Quarter"). Note, that the area/neighborhood is so quiet, one could here a pin drop (okay... outside of the Catholic church bells which ring continuously...but I find them melodic and not intrusive).

That said, my very nice landlord lives above us and she has a boyfriend who visits often - and most weekends. Unfortunately, he tends to thump around their flat above us and the noise he makes is unsettling/annoying. And, he is an early riser and so we hear this thumping around 4:30 to 5am any weekend when he is around.

I have tried to hint to my landlord about the noise but not she does not quite "get" it. Or she pretends she doesn't understand. I personally think that when she renovated the flat, she/the builders did not consider noise reduction/insulation.

It is what it is (to quote my late Mom!) Now, we run a fan (white noise) and it seems to help. I think you need to accept what you cannot change or make a change. For us, well... we love this flat and the location.

Lately, we haven't heard the "thumping" and so, maybe, the boyfriend has passed his "sell by date"? We can only hope
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Old Yesterday, 10:15
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

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Lately, we haven't heard the "thumping" and so, maybe, the boyfriend has passed his "sell by date"? We can only hope
LOL We have the same, except ours is in to some rather interesting things...it is quite disturbing. Luckily she spends long periods away, which gives us a break from the regular hardcore porn soundtrack. Only annoyance I really have with her is that she complained at exactly 11:01 PM one Friday during the first party we ever had...

I think it is just an unfortunate part of living in a building with other people...some are better than others and it is your call what you can put up with.
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Old Today, 10:56
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Re: another neighbor issue thread

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The problem is I didn't rent directly from the Genossenschaft and I wasn't aware of the fact that i am living in a Genossenschaft for the first year. I rented from an organization and they are the main tenant. Probably that's why they just ignore me.
Your rental situation sounds a bit confusing with the organization and the Genossenschaft. Because if this structure, maybe it would make sense to join the Mietverband and ask them what your options are? For example, can you go directly to the Genossenschaft, or do you have to do everything through your renter?

Good luck - sounds like a tough situation. Again, an inexpensive apt. in Zürich is super hard to find but a living situation that destroys your mental health is also not sustainable.
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